‘Miyazaki’ Spotted Toad Lily

16 10 2011

I planted two Toad Lily ‘Miyazaki’ plants (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Miyazaki’) in my garden last year and almost missed them blooming this fall. I photographed these blooms at Green Spring Gardens this morning. These unusual perennial plants originated from Japan and the blooms resemble orchids. These self-seeders bloom in late summer to early fall, prefer part sun, are drought resistant, and thrive in Zones 4-8.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Orange Dead Leaf Butterfly

20 07 2011

While sitting (in the butterfly-shaped chair, of course) and trying to cool off in the Wings of Fancy observatory, I glanced over at the plethora of butterflies gathered to feast on rotting fruit (yum!) and saw a leaf moving. Is that a leaf? Is that a leaf eating that rotten banana? I had never seen anything like it—it was a butterfly camouflaged as a leaf! I learned from a volunteer that it is the Orange Dead Leaf Butterfly or Oakleaf Butterfly (Kallima inachus), native to tropical Asia, India and Japan. Although I never saw it open its wings to reveal the intense complementary colors of blue and orange, I did see it on an ID sign (see inset photo). This species, just like the Common Morpho (that brilliant blue butterfly that never stays still long enough to let anyone photograph it!), is very dull-colored brown and tan on the outside, but so striking when the wings are open.





Published in Japan!

6 12 2010

Thanks to my friend, Charles Mokotoff, for alerting me that I’ve been published in Japan’s Gendai Guitar magazine. Charles is a classical guitarist and was featured in the January 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published by the Hearing Loss Association of America (see cover at right). You can download and read that article here: hlmArticle12_09.

I did several photo sessions with Charles and we became fast friends. He graciously performed a live concert during our first-ever Tapas Party in November 2009. Check out photos from that soiree here.

Check out his website and listen to him play here. Charles produced his CD, Autumn Elegy, in 2008 and it is available for purchase on CDBaby here and on Apple iTunes here. Read a glowing review of his CD by Acoustic Guitar magazine here.

In the video below, he plays Sevilla by Isaac Albeniz in a live concert at St. Albans Church in Washington, DC this past spring.





Halleluiah light

14 04 2009

In the North Wing of the Conservatory at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, there are hordes of Easter Lilies in full bloom. In one corner I noticed the flowers in shade. In this one flower, I noticed the water drop. As I was getting set up to photograph it, the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the shaft of this one flower! I call this “Halleluiah Light,” because I can just hear the angels singing!

Did you know that 95% of the 11.5 million Easter Lilies grown and sold originate from the border of California and Oregon? The area is labeled the “Easter Lily Capital of the World.”

From http://www.about.com:

Lilium longiflorum is actually a native of the southern islands of Japan. A World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, is credited with starting U.S. Easter Lily production when he brought a suitcase full of lily bulbs with him to the southern coast of Oregon in 1919. He gave them away to friends and when the supply of bulbs from Japan was cut off as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the rising price of the bulbs suddenly made the lily business a viable industry for these hobby growers and earned the bulbs the nickname “White Gold.”

And if you have cats, please keep them away from this plant! Any part of this lily, as many of its relatives, can cause kidney failure in cats. Eating even one leaf can be fatal. There is a handy list of plants that are poisonous to cats compiled by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc., here. For more information about what types of Lily plants to avoid, read the information here. I do grow Stargazers and Asiatic Lilies (in pots and out of reach), but my cats are kept indoors and when they are (very briefly) outdoors in the summer, they are under strict supervision—plus, their very own bed of catnip keeps them occupied the entire time! They never have been plant nibblers, so I’ve been fortunate that they ignore all of our house plants. I did get rid of a pencil cactus (which was out of the way anyway) as soon as I found out they are highly poisonous.

See another example of this serendipitous light here in a post I did last summer.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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